One day late, sorry gents. But I think you're in for a treat. I quite like it.
1558 - 1578 AD - The reign of King Edward VI. His reign was marked by few upsets, although the growing religious tension in the County of Holland were getting more apparent. Dutch merchants were angered by the fact that they, because of their faith, were prohibited from even partaking as investors in a colonial venture, and as such Edward VI had on his hands a very, very angry class of Dutch burghers.
A few revolts later, and the Act of Colonial Charters was revised. Protestants were now allowed investment in colonial ventures.
Besides that, not much occurred. The English effectively gained control of Scotland once again when he helped install the Sutherland dynasty of rulers.
Elsewhere, colonies were expanded, and the profits from the New World continued to flow in to English coffers. Edward VI died in 1578, and was succeeded by his son, Albert V.
1567 AD - The effective collapse of the Mamluk state. This creates a power vacuum that both Persia and the Turks are more than eager to fill. The Safavid Shah Tahmasp took full advantage of this collapse initially, however he was facing threats to the east, from the Uzbeks, and as such did not get much further than Tadmor, near the ruins of ancient Palmyra.
1570 AD - The French, while late to the party, manage to establish themselves in the New World, known as Floride (from the Spanish “Florida”). Again, another blatant violation of the Treaty of Burgos, but France justified this by saying that they personally never agreed to the treaty.
Within a few more years, the French settled on most of the nominally-Castilian islands, the ones which had been more sparsely populated.
Within the next few years, the establishment of these colonies would severely upset the three-way balance of power between the nobility, the burghers and the monarchy in France.
1569 - 1575 AD - The first Germiyanid - Safavid war. It was set off when the Sheik of Tripoli (along with various neighboring sheikdoms and emirates) offered the Germiyanid Sultan Abdul I suzerainty over their territories.
Or at least, most of them offered suzerainty. Many others wanted nothing more than a mutual protection pact, the most notable of these being the Emir of Damascus, who had in the two years since the final collapse of the Mamluk state had established for himself a large territory, and it is something which he did not want to have to give up to some faraway Sultan. But the Germiyanid Sultan insisted that he had been granted suzerainty over Damascus along with Tripoli et al.
And so the Emir of Damascus set out to persuade the Shah of Persia to help him out of this pickle he had found himself in.
Shah Tahmasp had succeeded in beating the Uzbeks back across the Oxus again, and was now looking to flex his military might once more (and besides, war kept his often rebellious generals busy). Tahmasp agreed to help out the Emir of Damascus, in the event that this whole mess boiled over, no strings attached (for now). Tahmasp was hell-bent on giving the Persians a Mediterranean port for the first time in millennia.
It wouldn’t take long before the Shah would have his chance. In August of 1575, word had reached the Emir of Damascus that a Turkish army sent to enforce Germiyanid suzerainty over Damascus was descending out of the Anatolian mountains and into Cilicia.
The Emir panicked when he heard that the force was estimated to be over 10,000, and sent a messenger to Tabriz to beg the Shah for assistance. It arrived in just four days. The Shah had been preparing for conflict, and in one week had 12,000 men mobilized and sent to aid the Emir of Damascus.
The war lasted for six years, but ultimately it was the Germiyanids who came out on top. The Shah was able to get more men to the field faster, however this numerical advantage was entirely cancelled-out due to the Turks’ technological edge. The Turks had in their battles with the Europeans come to master the gun and the cannon, and while the Persians fought bravely, it was simply a difference too great to overcome. Essentially, the Germiyanids came out on top because they had access to force multipliers, and the Persians had to slug it out, with very little access to proper cannons and guns.
The effects of this war were felt throughout the Middle East. It essentially established a dualism in that region: the mostly Sunni Germiyanid Empire on one side, and the mostly-Shiite Safavid Empire. The Germiyanids generally more liberal, the Safavids generally more hard-line.
The Germiyanid Sultan had expanded his empire to fill (partially) the vacuum left by the Mamluks. It was the beginning of the end for the old order in the Arab world.
1578 - 1601 AD - The reign of king Albert V of England. Even at the time of his ascension (he was twenty-eight years old) people began to think that Albert V would be the last of the Ealdgar kings. He tried various times to produce a male heir, but failed.
Like his father, Albert V presided over the simmering religious tensions in Holland, but unlike his father did not have to deal with large-scale revolts.
The most significant act of Albert V’s reign was to establish the first English trading colony in India in 1597. This essentially opened up India to further colonization, and English posts were very quickly and much more eagerly followed by the French, who having lost out on much of the New World (which was essentially divided between England, Portugal, and Castile), was looking East rather than west (which flew in the face of Portugal, who according to the Line of Demarcation theoretically owned that half of the world.)
When he died, Albert V’s kingdom passed on to his grandson, Edmund I of the House of Æþelwærd.
1590 AD - The problems in France had finally begun to rear their ugly heads. Many nobles had had enough with what seemed to be an expansion in monarchial power. The King had in so few words basically provided an out for the Dukes’ feudal subjects, and simultaneously the King took most of the profit (the rest going to the Burgher-run colonial Companies).
Adding to the fires was the fact that in the south of Franc in particular, Protestantism was beginning to take hold in many sections of France. In 1581 the various Protestant denominations which had sprung up across France had all convened in Rheims, and unified as the Reformed Church of France. This caused nothing but problems for both the monarchy and the nobility.
So, to review, France is mired in a serious problem. For centuries there has been a sort of three-way balance between monarch, nobility, and the burghers. The nobility had been losing ground over the last hundred years as more and more of their peasants up and left, going into the cities to join the newly-affluent burgher class. This problem had been exacerbated when the king began granting colonial charters without the consent of the nobles. This essentially provided a way out for the peasantry who did not want to remain under their feudal lord.
Add to all this tension the spread of Protestantism throughout much of France. Many nobles, while not officially Protestant, did sympathize with the Protestants and did very little if anything to hinder its spread throughout France. The king was fed up with his rather disloyal Dukes and counts, and was looking for any reason to curb their power and influence, but had again and again dodged the bullet. Likewise the nobles were just looking for an excuse to curb the king’s growing power and influence. Yes, France, that (mostly) placid kingdom between the Rhine and Pyrenees was set to become a very, very dangerous place.
And it finally happened. With the death of the French king Louis IX in 1590, there was a succession crisis. According to Salic Law, the brother of the king of Sicily, Rene, was the rightful heir (through his grandfather the brother of Louis’ grandfather). But Henri the Count of Toulouse claimed the throne according to primogeniture (he was the eldest son of Louis’ aunt).
Naturally, most of the nobles supported Henri Count of Toulouse. But the Duke of Normandy, the Duke of Champagne, and the Duke of Burgundy supported Rene (mostly because Louis, who wanted Rene to succeed him, knew he had to cozy up to them if nobody else).
Everything came to a head when on the night of November 13th , 1590, an assassination attempt was made on Rene. When morning came, he sent a message to Henri Count of Toulouse, revoking his title as count, and telling him to renounce his claim to the throne.
On November 17th, Rene got his response. He refused both demands. The French civil war had begun.
1590 - 1603 AD - For thirteen years the civil war raged on and off. It was divided into three wars. The first war was from 1590 - 1593. It was basically Burgundy/Champagne/Normandy/France against the combined forces of Aquitaine/Anjou/Marche/Gascony/Toulouse. Rene scored a decisive victory at Clermont in 1593, and Toulousian resistance melted. Henri fled to the court of the king of Castile, where he attempted to gather-up support. The remaining nobles were able to retain their lands, for the time being. Rene I was officially crowned on December 5th, 1593
The king of Castile was not trying to get himself involved in a war. But the king of Castile, Fernando VI, had his eyes set on removing the French from what he saw as his own private peninsula, and the longer Aragon existed under a French Sicilian dynasty the more he felt inadequate as a ruler.
And so in 1595 hostilities once again began, but this time the nobles of Aquitaine and Marche, along with Toulousian Protestant malcontents, had the backing of the rich and powerful Castilian Empire.
From 1595 - 1599 the second war progressed, but this war would prove disastrous for the nobility. The reason being was because Henri’s greatest general and confidante, Raymond de Nîmes, scored a major victory over the Duke of Burgundy near Arles. Why was this crushing? Because Raymond was a Protestant.
Rene knew exactly how to turn this in his favor. He sold himself as a defender of the Church, and even received a Papal blessing for victory in his struggle.
Suddenly, Fernando VI, who had scored impressive victories in Aragon over the Sicilians, was beginning to look like the bad guy. The king of rabidly-Catholic Castile was now “supporting” the Reformed Church of France. Obviously, this did not go over well with the clergy, peasants, nobles and everyone in-between in Castile.
Fernando still wanted to claim the title King of Aragon, and was looking for a quick, decisive victory, hoping that he would still come out smelling like roses. He had to actively engage and seek out the bulk of the Aragonian-Sicilian army in order to do this. He got his wish at the foot of Montserrat on May 7th 1598.
He was intending to march to Barcelona, knowing that the enemy HAD to engage him, they HAD to stop him before he reached Barcelona.
To make a long story short, Fernando VI was utterly beaten at Montserrat. He had no choice but to fall back. He had a very angry court to return to in Toledo. Fernando sued for peace, and got it with the onset of winter in 1598.
Once Castilian support had been taken away, Henri couldn’t keep up the war effort. In 1599 he once again retreated, this time to the island of Corsica.
By this point all the rebellious Dukes had been stripped of their titles and kept as courtiers in Paris, essentially under lock and key. The king of France was now in more or less complete control of the France itself. It could have ended there, but Rene, having essentially scored a victory not just for himself but also for the Catholic Church, began to utilize the Inquisition to purge the south of France of all French Protestants. In 1601 there was a mass uprising of Protestants in Toulouse, and the rebels invited Henri back to reclaim Toulouse.
Henri was hoping that the Protestants in Germany would aid him, but in the final war between 1601 - 1603, Henri was all on his own. Henri was finally killed in battle in 1603, and with his death the end of the French Civil War finally came.
The result of the French civil war was that the monarch was now, more or less, the sole and indisputable ruler over his entire realm. The only dukes left with any real power were those of Normandy, Champagne, and Burgundy, the rest was given to loyal courtiers and relations, with very restricted, almost ceremonial, powers.
In effect, feudalism died, and 1603 is seen by many historians as the birth of the French nation.
1601 - 1642 AD - The reign of Edmund I Æþelwærd. His mother reigned as regent for the first eight years of his reign, until his minority ended. He continued many of the policies of his predecessor, but with a far more colonial outlook. He was not concerned with Europe so much, and looked to expand his holdings in the New World. And until he was forced into participation in the German Wars of Religion, he went unfettered.
His unprecedented rate of colonialism was caused by two things. The first being that he repealed the Act of Colonial Charters, and a new wave of Protestants fled to the New World. The second cause was that he recognized that once Portugal and Castile unified, they would soon begin to look more northerly toward England’s colonies.
But then came the German Wars of Religion. For the first two years, it seemed as though he might be able to stay out of it, but the Protestants seized control of Holland, and pledged allegiance to the Duke of Guelders. When the Duke of Guelders accepted, England had little choice but to go to war.
Edmund I would not live to see the end of the war. He died in 1642. He was succeeded by his son Edmund II.
1613 AD - The death of Fernando VI king of Castile meant that there were no male heirs left. He had three daughters, but two had died of smallpox at early ages. The last one was Isabella, who at the time was just 17 years old. It was perfect. Castile needed a change, it did, after the disaster who was Fernando VI. So Isabella was made the regnant Queen of Castile.
1614 AD - The marriage of Isabella and Antonio II, king of Portugal. This was effectively the union of both countries, as Antonio II’s only son died during childbirth, along with his first wife. That is, if the two could conceive a boy.
1615 AD - The birth of Juan/João son of Isabella and Antonio II. He is the heir to the kingdoms of Portugal and Castile.
1627 AD - As a measure of protecting itself from the growing power of Muscovy, Novgorod surrendered to the Kingdom of Lithuania, on the condition that the rights and privileges of the city be retained. This severely tipped the balance of power in Eastern Europe, as Lithuania had grown to become quite powerful since the destruction of the Teutonic Order.
1634 AD - Over the ensuing years, the Turks and the Safavids had expanded their influence in the Levant, and effectively the various Sheiks and Emirs in that region were vassals of either the Shah of Persia or the Sultan of the Turks. This created surprisingly little tension between the two powers, that is, until it came time that the Sheik of Jerusalem had to make a decision.
Meanwhile, in Egypt, the Caliph and a man by the name of al-Badawi had finally molded Egypt proper into a cohesive state. The period of almost seventy years of turmoil had finally come to an end, and now the Caliph began to reassert his control over lands that were once his.
Back in Jerusalem, the Sheik was beginning to feel the pressure. The Germiyanid Sultan was breathing down his neck. The Sheik wished to maintain as much of his independence as possible, and looking around whom did he see but Shah Ismail III? And so the Sheik of Jerusalem began a discourse with the Shah of Persia.
The Shah of Persia was willing to accept the Sheikdom of Jerusalem as a tributary state. It served the Shah’s purpose of getting Jerusalem, one of the holiest sites in all of Islam, and it served the Sheik’s purpose of maintaining a large degree of independence.
This was a problem.
You see, the Caliph was rabidly-Sunni. The Turkish sultan was moderately Sunni. But the Shah of Persia was quite Shiite. When the Caliph got the word that Jerusalem was effectively controlled by Shiites, he, in short, blew his top.
The Caliph knew that his state was, while stable, still reeling from the period of trouble, and would be unable to effectively wage a war against the Persians. But who? What good upstanding Sunni man could reclaim Jerusalem? The Caliph looked to Constantinople.
The Caliph effectively sent permission to the Sultan allowing him to take al-Quds by any means necessary. And so, in 1634, the Sultan declared war on Persia.
1634 - 1642 AD - The second Germiyanid - Safavid War. This time the Safavids were much more ready, much more equipped to deal with the Turks. Shah Ismail III had modernized the army, and largely integrated cannons and muskets into the Persian army. While they were not equal in strength to the Turks, it most certainly leveled the playing field when compared to the two empires’ last struggle.
The war was long and difficult, but in the end, the Turks still won out after eight years of brutal fighting. The reason for this being that it was simply less of a logistics problem to get to the south of the Levant, the place that the Persians were obliged to defend, than it was for the Persians.
The effect of this war was that the Safavid dynasty began to decline. Eight years of incessant warfare had drained both empires, but Persia came out of the war worse off than the Turks had.
1649 AD - Death of Antonio II king of Portugal. He is succeeded by his son, João V.
1635 - 1659 AD - The German Wars of Religion. There were many causes for this war, the most important one being that many issues had not been resolved at the Diet of Nuremburg in 1544. The most pertinent being that the Diet of Nuremburg only accounted for the original Protestant faith founded, Fredericanism. The other large denomination was Hamlinism, founded by Josef Hamel.
Over the last eighty years or so, the Holy Roman Empire was effectively a state in controlled anarchy. That is to say, religious conflicts were frequent, but generally small, and despite the fact that the German people suffered greatly, Protestant and Catholic, things were still more or less balanced. Cuius regio eius religio was the motto for this “empire”. And for a while it actually worked. But things got confused when, on occasion, Protestants gained control of the Archbishoprics. Suddenly, for the Catholics, “Cuius regio, eius religio” wasn’t really good enough, and as such this created a lot of tension among the various religions in the Empire.
The spark that lit the powder keg as it were was the succession in Brandenburg. It should have gone to John IV Duke of Luxembourg, but he was Catholic, and this caused great problems with the Protestant half of the population there. Rather, the Protestants of Brandenburg preferred Charles II of the House of Luxembourg-Guelders (the House of Luxembourg had recently acquired that territory).
And so, the Brandenburger Rebellion began. It started off as a rebellion, but soon enough, it grew into a farther-reaching conflict. Essentially, Europe as a whole was drawn in, if not for religious reasons, then with the notion that they would gain a profit.
The war was fought, much like the French Civil War, in different phases. Sweden’s interests lay in having a friendly Brandenburg on the Baltic, and the Swedish king also happened to be Protestant. Therefore, the king of Sweden came to the conclusion that he ought enter on the Protestant side.
Sweden’s intervention essentially destroyed any hope of this war being a short one. Sweden’s involvement on the Protestant side was quickly followed by English intervention on the Catholic side. (The main reason for this being that his court at Holland had pledged allegiance to the Duke of Guelders.)
The king of France also intervened on the Catholic side, however France only wanted to gain control of some of the wealthy Rhineland area, and the religious aspect to France’s intervention was really quite minimal.
The war went on and off, and in the end there was no clear-cut winner. The Elector of Brandenburg and the Margrave of Brandenburg were made into separate titles, although by the time the Peace of Frankfurt had been signed this was a minor issue.
So who WERE the winners? Who came out on top after nearly twenty years of on and off struggle? Certainly the king of France, who now had control of both the Alsace and the Lorraine regions. Possibly the King of England, who while he lost Holland to the new Margrave of Brandenburg Charles I, had gained full control over Brabant. Maybe the King of Sweden, who got Near Pomerania out of the ensuing Peace.
In fact, on analysis, the real losers of the war were the German people. While the Peace of Frankfurt did ensure that no more religious wars would be fought in the Holy Roman Empire, it destroyed the Empire in all but name. It used to be that “Cuius regio eius religio” united the Empire in an uneasy peace, and now the only thing keeping them together was historical precedent.
1642 - 1667 AD - Reign of King Edmund II of England. He continued the policies of his father of rapid colonialism, and this expansion was helped along by the fact that England now effectively controlled the tobacco supply to Europe. The “Tobacco Barons of England” as they were referred to were among some of Europe’s wealthiest men.
Far from proving a threat, the union of Portugal and Castile had a very unintended effect in the New World, and that was that France’s presence on the Iberian peninsula meant that Portugal and Castile could not afford to keep as many troops as they would have liked in their colonies. The English were basically able to run free with their colonies.
England actually didn’t come off too bad despite losing control of Holland during the German Wars of Religion. It not only had full control of Brabant, but it was now able to pursue its colonial ambitions unfettered, now that it had rid itself of troublesome Amsterdam.
1652 AD - Not ten years after the Second Germiyanid-Safavid War did Egypt once again collapse into a series of squabbling states. Al-Badawi had been unable to provide any stability for his new state for when after he died. The Germiyanid Sultan was quick to react.
1652 - 1653 AD - The Turkish conquest of Egypt. The exact reason for going to war is quite clear. Not only would it give the Sultanate complete mastery of the Eastern Mediterranean and thus bring into its control the last unconquered market for Eastern goods (Alexandria), it was the Sultan’s chance to seize the title of Caliph.
In 1653, the Sultan Ahmed I met personally with the Caliph at Alexandria, and the Caliph agreed to pass on the title to him after his death.
1653 AD - With the death of Isabella of Castile, João V of Portugal inherits the kingdom of Castile. Portugal and Castile would be united under a single dynasty.
1655 AD - The aging Abbasid Caliph dies. Sultan Ahmed I becomes the Caliph. Thus begins the Turkish Caliphate.
Map will follow later. This time in "World-O-Vision".